Are NFTs the next acronym you need to know? Or just another buzzword? Doug Kessler, co-founder of Velocity, is this year’s keynote speaker at Martechopia – the UK’s leading conference on all things B2B martech. Here’s a look at his session. Lucy Gillman reports.
A learner’s guide to NFTs
Doug started his career in consumer advertising in Maddison Avenue before “drifting into B2B and never getting out.” As Joel Harrison, B2B Marketing’s editor-in-chief, puts it: “if you’ve been in and around B2B marketing, I defy you to not have heard of Doug.”
Perhaps just as well known are NFTs. “I thought it was all scam and nonsense at first. Then some people I respected came out with some interesting things and I thought I should learn about it. That then became the proverbial rabbit hole,” Doug confesses. “I’m on the learning curve. [I’m speaking at Martechopia] not as an expert or promoter, but as a learner who spent a week or two (or maybe a month or two) learning about it.”
“It’s even better that someone not from a martech background is doing this. It gives it more resonance,” Joel adds. “I have no skin in the game, that’s the thing,” Doug agrees, speaking from a position of where NFTs may work in B2B – if at all.
The next big craze
Whether it be connecting a community of digital artists or creating new kinds of digital art, for Doug NFTs represent huge potential of innovation. “I feel how I felt in the early days of the Internet,” he states. “I remember the first website I saw load in a primitive browser. The guy behind me said, ‘That’ll never work.’ And I was like, “Hmmm….”
“I feel like that [with NFTs]. The more I learn about it, the more I feel like there’s something very big trying to get out,” he continues.
But who exactly is this new kid on the block?
What exactly are NFTs?
NFTs and non-fungible tokens – a non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a blockchain. Let’s break it down.
Non-fungible, or non-interchangeable, means each NFT is unique. A token is something ownable and can support a smart contract. In other words, “a digital asset that can be property.”
Whilst the ‘dumb’ acronym itself may fade, the concept of ownable, unique digital property isn’t going anywhere. Gartner’s 2021 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies places NFTs at the Peak of Inflated Expectations – they could be five years away from mainstream adoption.
“It makes sense to learn about it now. That’s all. It doesn’t make sense to dive in. It doesn’t make sense to ignore it,” Doug continues. “There’s some bubble bursting happening and a lot of dust to clear. But learning’s fun! You may just find that there’s a use case that unlocks some value for you, your brand and your community.”
NFTs and B2B: The new power couple?
So, what about B2B: how transformational can NFTs be in B2B? Should we even bother hopping on the bandwagon?
“Early on I think communities are where we’re going to see some interesting stuff. And we already are,” Doug states. “I have a couple of case studies in my talk about community plays.”
“A phrase you’ll hear is a token-gated community. So to get into the community you need to own a token or NFT [which] gives you all this new access, membership, participation and other benefits,” he elaborates.
No matter what’s on the horizon for NFTs in B2B, “it’s not every day that a profound new thing comes out.” For Doug, NFTs will “throw light on whatever it is that you do.” Whether you bring them fully into your future marketing strategy or take what makes them special and incorporate that, NFTs are likely to change the landscape of B2B marketing – for good.
So, how can you bring NFTs into your radar? How can you see past the hype? What should you be looking out for? Well, we’ll see you at Martechopia to find out all!